(out of 5)
Surprisingly palatable glorification of vengeance stars Mark Wahlberg, André Benjamin, Tyrese Gibson and Garrett Hedlund as four brothers who, as children, were taken in as hopeless foster cases by a kindly woman (Fionnula Flanagan) and raised as her sons. When their mother is murdered in a grocery store holdup, the boys are reunited for the first time in years at her funeral, and there discover the possibility that her death was not random but a planned execution. John Singleton doesn’t allow the film to get off track, making for a sharply acted, smartly written drama that indulges a bit too much in character cliches and loud gunplay but is otherwise very satisfying (and sometimes even moving). Flanagan’s wonderful few moments are enough to convince you of the sense of loss that propels the other characters to act in this modern take on The Sons of Katie Elder.
Directed by John Singleton
Cinematography by Peter Menzies Jr.
Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Music by David Arnold
Production Design by Keith Brian Burns
Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter